Biggest Flops of 2011
As 2012 approaches, we've been bringing you our series of year end posts/recaps (see our 2011's Luckiest Candidates, Top Comeback Kids, Year in Media, and Biggest Twitter Losers) and we'll end with our list of the biggest flops of 2011:
5. Retired Lt. Gen. Ricardo Sanchez (D): In April, Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee Chair Patty Murray talked up Texas as a state where Democrats were "aggressively recruiting," and included it in a list of six GOP-held Senate seats she thought Democrats could win. The big recruit was revealed to be Sanchez, a Hispanic with military experience who Democrats thought could be a contender.
But Sanchez just never took off: his fundraising was lackluster, and the DSCC stopped mentioning Texas as a potential pickup opportunity months ago. It barely made a ripple when he ended his campaign earlier this month.
4. Kenosha County Supervisor Rob Zerban: Zerban was a much-hyped DCCC recruit challenging a House Republican Democrats would love to take down: House Budget Committee Chair Paul Ryan. But after Zerban told Hotline On Call in June that he would post a "big number" for fundraising in the second quarter, he went on to report bringing in just $120,000, loaning himself another $100,000. That's pennies compared to Ryan's haul of nearly $900,000 that quarter, with millions in the bank. And Zerban's fundraising showed no signs of taking off in the next report. We'll see if the final report of the year shows any improvement.
3. Sen. Olympia Snowe's, R-Maine, challengers: a year ago, Snowe was considered highly vulnerable to a tea party challenger -- and tea party activist Andrew Ian Dodge was touting a mysterious conservative candidate who would swoop in and challenge the longtime senator from the right. It turned out he was talking about himself. His fundraising has been dismal, and Snowe's other conservative challenger, businessman Scott D'Amboise, hasn't done much better. And Snowe dominates in polls.
So collectively, the tea party challengers to Snowe have not come close to living up to the hype.